Baseball is not only one of the most popular sports in the United States but is also hugely popular all over the world. And, Major league Baseball is the oldest, and one of the most popular professional baseball leagues in the countries of North America. It is followed with great zest and excitement by the people of the countries, especially the United States of America and Canada. In this tournament, the top players have played and shown their talents, as well as created some exceptional moments. Records have been set by some of the greatest batters, which are hard to match. Let us take a look at the Unbreakable Records of Hitting in Major League Baseball.
Unbreakable Records of Hitting in Major League Baseball
Most career hits – 4,256
Pete Rose set the record of most career hits with his total hits of 4,256 in his baseball career between 1963 and 1986 which is one of the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball. The closest contender of this unbreakable record is Derek Jeter with his 3,465 hits at the end of the 2014 baseball season. 39-year-old Alex Rodriguez becomes the active MLB leader with 2,939 hits at the end of the 2013 season after the retirement of Derek Jeter, but sadly Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season for his connections with the Biogenesis baseball scandal.
To match the record of Pete Rose a baseball player has to collect 250 hits over 17 consecutive seasons or above 200 hits over 21 consecutive seasons. A close prospect, Miguel Cabrera, has 2,186 hits after spending 12 seasons in MLB. To match the record of Pete Rose, Cabrera has to collect more than 201 hits over 10 more additional seasons.
Most consecutive seasons with 200 hits – 10
Japanese baseball player Ichiro Suzuki set the record over the course of his career from 2001 to 2010. That record also deserves its place among the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball. He won the 2001 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP awards just after his transfer to Seattle Mariners from Nippon Professional Baseball at the age of 27. Ichiro Suzuki achieved the AL batting title in 2001 and 2004, and became the hitting leader of AL in seven seasons. He also broke the 84-year-old single-season hits record of George Sisler with his 262 hits in 2004 MLB season.
The closest achievement of this marvelous record was made by Willie Keeler who had 8 consecutive seasons with more than 200 hits, but sadly the Willie Keeler’s story has occurred almost a century before the dead-ball era. It is amazingly tough to achieve more than 200 hits in a single season as only two baseball players, José Altuve and Michael Brantley, had 200 or more hits in 2014 season.
Most career triples – 309
The record of 309 career triples which is one of the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball was set by Sam Crawford over the course of his career from 1899 to 1916, in which he had five 20-triple seasons and sixteen 10-triple seasons. The closest contender of this record is legendary baseball player Ty Cobb with his 295 career triples which is just 14 less than the record of Sam Crawford. Since the transformation of the dead-ball era to the live-ball era the triples hit has noticeably declined due to the changes in playing styles and match conditions.
Stan Musial holds the record of most career triples in the live-ball era with his 177 triple hits. To match the record of Sam Crawford, a player has to average 15 triples over 20 MLB seasons. The closest active player with the potential of breaking the record is Carl Crawford with his 120 career triples.
Most triples in a season – 36
Chief Wilson holds the record of most triples in a single season with his 36 triples in 1912 MLB season. This feat also deserves its place among the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball. Dave Orr crossed that 30-triple benchmark with 31 triples in 1886 season. Besides, Heinie Reitz also crossed that benchmark with 31 triples in the 1894 season. Sam Crawford with his 26 triples in 1914 season achieved the closest position in this century. Besides, Kiki Cuyler with his 26 triples in 1925 season also came quite close since Wilson set the record of most triples in a single season.
It is so amazingly tough to achieve higher triples in a single season that only six hitters have had 20 triples in the last 50 season of MLB. George Brett had 20 triples in 1979 and Willie Wilson had 21 triples in 1985. Besides, Lance Johnson had 21 triples in 1996 and Cristian Guzmán had 20 triples in 2000. Moreover, Curtis Granderson and Jimmy Rollins had 23 and 20 triples respectively in the 2007 season.
Highest career batting average – .366
Ty Cobb holds the record of the highest career batting average with his .366 batting average. This feat definitely deserves its place among the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball. He led the MLB 11 times in batting average. Besides, he had three .400 seasons and nine .380 seasons in his career from 1905 to 1928. Ty Cobb achieved a batting average of .323 at the age of 41 in his final season. The closest contender of this record is Rogers Hornsby with his batting average of .358. There are only three baseball players in history with a career batting average of more than .350.
Ted Williams with his batting average of .344 holds the record of the highest average. He holds it among the players who spend their entire careers in the live-ball era. Achieving a batting average of .366 is so tough that only Tony Gwynn attained that benchmark in four seasons of his career and finished his career with .338 batting average. Miguel Cabrera with his .320 batting average is the active player of MLB with the highest batting average.
Highest career on-base percentage – .482
Ted Williams currently holds the record of highest career on-base percentage with his .482 benchmark. This feat definitely deserves its place among the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball. He actively played baseball from 1939 to 1960. After scoring .406 in the 1941 MLB season, he became the last baseball player to hit above .400 in an MLB season.
Ted Williams achieved the Triple Crowns and the MLB MVP awards twice each. Besides, he also won the American League batting title six times. He finished his career with a batting average of .344 and has a total of 521 home runs. But surprisingly, he achieved all these records despite missing nearly five full seasons. He missed those seasons due to several reasons such as military service and injuries. The closest contender of this record is Babe Ruth with his on-base percentage of .474.
Longest hitting streak – 56 games
Joe DiMaggio holds the record of the longest hitting streak with his 56 games in 1941 MLB season. It also holds the top place among the unbreakable records of hitting in major league baseball. He achieved a total of 91 hits with .404 batting average on that season. Sabermetrician Stephen Jay called that streak as “the most extraordinary thing that ever happened in American sports.”
Willie Keeler is the closest contender who had achieved a hitting streak of 45 games over 2 MLB seasons. There are only six 40-game hitting streaks in baseball history. The most recent one occurred in 1978 when Pete Rose hit in 44 straight consecutive games. The record of Pete Rose is also marked the only time that a player has reached a 40-game hitting streak since 1941. DiMaggio is the only player to hit safely in 55 of 56 games since 1900. The improbability of DiMaggio’s hit streak ever being broken is now increased due to the use of bullpen and specialist relievers.
These records are etched in the history of the sport, and some of them are almost impossible to break, mainly because the sport has undergone drastic changes, and players will not get the opportunity to remake or even challenge such records in the new formats.